DISTRACTION THEFTS - BE ALERT
Approached outside a supermarket or shop and told you dropped some money? Oh that was nice of the man to return my tenner I'll just put it away in my purse...
That's what happened in Annan this week after two people were subjected to distraction thefts. While 'returning' the money to the victims the suspects are stealing their bank cards and later withdrawing large sums of money from the cash machines.
TRADING STANDARDS WARNING We have been receiving reports of suspicious doorstep callers in the local area, offering roofwork and gardening services. These traders have also been reported as failing to provide legally-required paperwork for work being carried out. As always, we would advise all residents not to engage with doorstep callers. These callers will often use persuasive or aggressive tactics to get householders to agree to have work done, then charge far more than was quoted for poor quality work. Please share this advice with your friends, family and neighbours. For any home improvement works, our advice is to always use a Trusted Trader. www.dumgal.gov.uk/trustedtrader. For further advice or to report suspicious callers, contact us via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06, or alternatively contact Police Scotland on 101. Remember: If in doubt, keep them out!
It appears the suspects are watching people enter their pin while paying for items in the store and then using the 'you dropped some money' routine to distract the victim and steal their bank cards.
Be alert and don't fall for this scam. Stores should also be alert for people hanging around the till area watching people using the chip and pin payment machines.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has identified an increasing number of reports submitted to Action Fraud from the public concerning courier fraud.
Fraudsters are contacting victims by telephone and purporting to be a police officer or bank official. To substantiate this claim, the caller might be able to confirm some easily obtainable basic details about the victim such as their full name and address. They may also offer a telephone number for the victim to call to check that they are genuine; this number is not genuine and simply redirects to the fraudster who pretends to be a different person. After some trust has been established, the fraudster will then, for example, suggest;
- Some money has been removed from a victim’s bank account and staff at their local bank branch are responsible.
- Suspects have already been arrested but the “police” need money for evidence.
- A business such as a jewellers or currency exchange is operating fraudulently and they require assistance to help secure evidence.
Victims are then asked to cooperate in an investigation by attending their bank and withdrawing money, withdrawing foreign currency from an exchange or purchasing an expensive item to hand over to a courier for examination who will also be a fraudster. Again, to reassure the victim, a safe word might be communicated to the victim so the courier appears genuine.
At the time of handover, unsuspecting victims are promised the money they’ve handed over or spent will be reimbursed but in reality there is no further contact and the money is never seen again.
Your bank or the police will never:
- Phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password.
- Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping, or send someone to your home to collect cash, PIN, cards or cheque books if you are a victim of fraud.
Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic
Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and address or even your mother’s maiden name), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Be mindful of who you trust – criminals may try and trick you into their confidence by telling you that you’ve been a victim of fraud
Stay in control
If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information.
For more information about how to protect yourself online visit
www.cyberaware.gov.uk and www.takefive.stopfraud.org.uk
There has been a sharp rise in fraudsters sending out fake text messages (smishing) and phishing emails claiming to be from TSB. The increase in the number of reports corresponds with the timing of TSB’s computer system update, which resulted in 1.9 million users being locked out of their accounts. Opportunistic fraudsters are using TSB’s system issue to target people with this type of fraud.
Since the start of May there have been 321 phishing reports of TSB phishing made to Action Fraud. This is an increase of 970% on the previous month. In the same reporting period, there have been 51 reports of cybercrime to Action Fraud which mention TSB – an increase of 112% on the previous month.
Fraudsters are commonly using text messages as a way to defraud unsuspecting victims out of money. Known as smishing, this involves the victim receiving a text message purporting to be from TSB. The message requests that the recipient clicks onto a website link that leads to a phishing website designed to steal online banking details.
Although text messages are currently the most common delivery method, similar communications have been reported with fraudsters using email and telephone to defraud individuals.
In several cases, people have lost vast sums of money, with one victim losing £3,890 after initially receiving a text message claiming to be from TSB. Fraudsters used specialist software which changed the sender ID on the message so that it looked like it was from TSB. This added the spoofed text to an existing TSB message thread on the victim’s phone.
The victim clicked on the link within the text message and entered their personal information. Armed with this information, the fraudsters then called the victim back and persuaded them to hand over their banking authentication code from their mobile phone. The fraudsters then moved all of the victim’s savings to a current account and paid a suspicious company.
Don’t assume an email or text is authentic:
Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Phone numbers and email addresses can be spoofed, so always contact the company directly via a known email or phone number (such as the one on the back of your bank card).
Clicking on links/files
Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected text or email. Remember, a genuine bank will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your full PIN or password.
If you have received a suspicious TSB email, please do not respond to it, report it to us https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_phishing and also forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Every Report Matters. If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to us online or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Visit Take Five and Cyber Aware for more information about how to protect yourself online.
Action Fraud, Administrator
HELP US BEAT BOGUS CALLERS
Bogus callers will visit a property claiming to be from perhaps a utility company or a charity in order to gain access and steal from within. Rogue traders offer services typically carried out to a poor standard at over-inflated prices and may use violence or threats to get payment or consent to carry out work – sometimes they will just take the money and do no work whatsoever.
The more vulnerable in our society do continue to be the main target for these fraudsters and I would urge people to please look out for their elderly or otherwise vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours – but please also spare a thought for yourself. These criminals can be very plausible and persuasive and it can be easy to be taken in by them.
Remember Dumfries and Galloway Council run a trusted trader scheme to help prevent against this time of crime.
SCAM - TV Licence Refund Notification
Warning - TV Licence Refund Notification
One of our NW members has reported a recent TV Licence Refund SCAM sent by email and referring to a pending refund. It reads:
“After the last annual calculation we have determined that you are eligible to receive a TV Licensing refund of 72.48 GBP. Due to invalid account details records, we were unable to credit your account. Please submit the TV Licensing refund request and allow 5-10 working days to be credited your account. Click “Refund Me Now” and follow the steps in order to process your request. NOTE: For security reasons, we will record your IP address, the date and time. Deliberate wrong inputs are criminally pursued.”
What Is Phishing
Phishing is a type of attack that uses email or a messaging service to fool you into taking an action you should not take, such as clicking on a malicious link, sharing your password, or opening an infected email attachment. Attackers work hard to make these messages convincing and tap your emotional triggers, such as urgency or curiosity. They can make them look like they came from someone or something you know, such as a friend or a trusted company you frequently use. They could even add logos of your bank or forge the email address so the message appears more legitimate. Attackers then send these messages to millions of people. They do not know who will take the bait, all they know is the more they send, the more people will fall victim.
In almost all cases, opening and reading an email or message is fine. For a phishing attack to work, the bad guys need to trick you into doing something. Fortunately, there are clues that a message is an attack. Here are the most common ones:
- A tremendous sense of urgency that demands “immediate action” before something bad happens, like threatening to close an account or send you to jail. The attacker wants to rush you into making a mistake.
- Pressuring you to bypass or ignore your policies or procedures at work.
- A strong sense of curiosity or something that is too good to be true. (No, you did not win the lottery.)
- A generic salutation like “Dear Customer.” Most companies, colleagues or friends contacting you know your name.
- Requesting highly sensitive information, such as your credit card number, password, or any other information that a legitimate sender should already know.
- The message says it comes from an official organisation, but has poor grammar or spelling or uses a personal email address like @gmail.com.
- The message comes from an official email but has a Reply-To address going to someone’s personal email account.
- You receive a message from someone you know, but the tone or wording just does not sound like him or her. If you are suspicious, call the sender to verify they sent it. It is easy for a cyber attacker to create a message that appears to be from a friend or colleague.
Ultimately, common sense is your best defence. If an email or message seems odd, suspicious, or too good to be true, it may be a phishing attack.
If you have been a victim please contact Police on 101, Action Fraud or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 if you would prefer to remain anonymous
False claims of Telephone Preference Service:
Fraudsters are cold-calling victims, falsely stating that they are calling from one of the well-known UK telecommunication service providers. They call victims claiming to provide a ‘Telephone Preference Service’ - an enhanced call-barring service, which includes barring international call centres.
The fraudsters ask victims to confirm/provide their bank account details, informing them that there is a one-off charge for the service. Victims instead see monthly debits deducted from their accounts, which they have not authorised. The fraudsters often target elderly victims.
In all instances, direct debits are set up without following proper procedure. The victim is not sent written confirmation of the direct debit instruction, which is supposed to be sent within three days.
On occasions when victims attempted to call back, the telephone number provided by the fraudster was either unable to be reached or the victim’s direct debit cancellation request was refused.
During 2017, there were 493 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud.
- There is only one Telephone Preference Service (TPS). The TPS is the only official UK 'do-not-call' register for opting out of live telesales calls. It is FREE to sign-up to the register. TPS never charge for registration. You can register for this service at http://www.tpsonline.org.uk.
- You will receive postal confirmation of genuine direct debits. If you notice unauthorised payments leaving your account, you should contact your bank promptly.
- Always be wary of providing personal information, or confirming that personal information the caller already claims to hold is correct. Always be certain that you know who you talking to. If in doubt hang up immediately.
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)
Inheritance fraud / Scam
Inheritance fraud is when you are told that someone very rich has died and you’re in line to receive a huge inheritance.
A fraudster who claims to be a lawyer from overseas or some other legal official sends you an email or a letter. They tell you that a person sharing your family name has died and left behind a vast amount of money. (one circulating presently in Scotland is purporting to be a bank representative from the Guangdong Nanyue Bank in Hong Kong)
The lawyer or official is administering the inheritance and has been unable to identify any of the dead person’s relatives. As a result, the money will go to the government. The lawyer or official suggests that, because you share the same family name as the deceased, he could pay the inheritance to you. You could then split the money between you, rather than handing it over to the government.
The fraudsters will emphasise the need to adhere to strict instructions. To hurry you into making a hasty decision, they will also stress the need to act quickly.
However, there is no inheritance and the person contacting you isn’t a lawyer or legal official.
If you respond to the fraudsters, they’ll ask you to pay various fees – for example: taxes, legal fees, banking fees etc. – so they can release your non-existent inheritance.
Each time you make a payment, the fraudsters will come up with a reason why the inheritance can’t be paid out unless you make another payment. If you ask, they will also give you reasons why the fees can’t be taken from your inheritance and have to be paid upfront.
If you become reluctant to pay a fee or suggest you can’t afford it, the fraudsters will put pressure on you by reminding you how close you are to receiving a sum of money much greater than the fees you’ve already handed over, and of how much you’ve already paid out.
The fraudsters may also ask for your bank details so they can pay the inheritance directly into your bank account. But, if you hand over your bank details, the fraudsters can use them to empty your account.
Are you a victim of inheritance fraud?
- You’ve received an email or letter informing you that someone you may be related to has died without leaving a will and you may be in line to inherit and
- You’ve paid fees to ‘research specialists’ who offer to sell you an estate report that includes information on the inheritance and how you can claim it.
What should you do if you’re a victim of inheritance Fraud.
- End all further contact with the fraudsters.
- Don’t send them any more money.
- Don’t give them your bank details.
- If you have already given the fraudsters your bank account details, alert your bank immediately.
- If you receive any threats from the fraudsters once you have stopped co-operating with them, alert the police immediately.
- Be aware that you’re now likely to be a target for other frauds. Fraudsters often share details about people they have successfully targeted or approached, using different identities to commit further frauds.
- People who have already fallen victim to fraudsters are particularly vulnerable to the fraud recovery fraud. This is when fraudsters contact people who’ve already lost money through fraud and claim to be law enforcement officers or lawyers. They’ll advise the victim that they can help them recover their lost money – but request a fee.
Protect yourself and others against inheritance fraud
- Although there are legitimate companies who make a living by tracking down heirs, they don’t do it in this way. If you’re asked for a fee for a report, it’s very likely to be bogus.
- Letters/documents provided by the fraudsters are generally badly written. Look out for spelling mistakes and poor grammar.
- Beware if you are asked to contact a webmail address such as @Yahoo or @Hotmail. As a rule, legitimate law firms do not use them.
- A legitimate law firm is highly unlikely to pay out an inheritance to someone who isn’t entitled to it. Any offer of a payout indicates that someone is up to no good.
- Fraudsters often claim that the person who has died was the victim of a well-publicised incident, such as a plane crash. To add credibility, they may even use the identity of someone who really did die in the incident
- Share this information
If you are a victim of a fraud contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Further advice can also be found on the Action Fraud website www.actionfraud.org.uk